Cases usually involve people coming in contact with poultry. In the United States, the CDC, in partnership with state and local public health departments, is monitoring people exposed to H5N1. As of last week, 6,315 people had been monitored; Symptoms were reported in 163; And one tested positive, according to Dr. Tim Uyecki, chief medical officer of the CDC’s Influenza Division.
At the same time, federal Agriculture Department officials responsible for the health of farm animals say they have begun testing potential poultry vaccines and have begun discussions with industry leaders about a large-scale bird flu vaccination program for poultry. Be a first for the United States.
Farm birds have previously been vaccinated against infectious poultry diseases, such as fowlpox. But an avian influenza vaccination program would be a complex undertaking, and poultry trade associations are divided over the idea, as it could lead to trade sanctions that could destroy the $6 billion poultry export industry. Dr. Carol Cardona, an expert in avian health at the University of Minnesota, said the fear of trade restrictions was a major barrier to mass vaccination of poultry.
“This is undeclared war – trade,” Dr. Cardona said.
However, avian influenza experts say they believe the Biden administration should move forward with a vaccination campaign to reduce the risk of a human pandemic. Many people in the interview demanded immediate action from the administration.
Avian influenza specialist at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Robert G. “My own opinion is that under current circumstances, we should vaccinate the United States poultry population against H5N1 — absolutely,” Webster said. Such a campaign “could prevent the inevitable transmission to humans,” he said.